The Range Rover Sport is not new to us at new car. We’ve long been fans of the baby Ranger but the weak link has always been what lurks under the bonnet. Up to now we had to make do with a variety of capable but overworked six-cylinder diesels or obscenely thirsty V8 petrols but now, finally, it’s got the perfect powerplant courtesy of PAG's new 3.6-litre V8 turbo diesel. Its power output is an impressive 272hp but its torque figure is a mind-warping 640Nm which means that the diesel Sport isn't just nimble, it's kick in the kidneys quick these days.
Stomp on the throttle at a standstill and the Sport will heap off the line and power its way up through the slick six-speed gearbox all the way to its 209km/h top speed, passing 100km/h in just 9.2 seconds, some three second sooner than the TDV6 version. Traction isn't a problem thanks to its impressive AWD drive system (with standard air suspension and terrain response system in TDV8 models) so it never feels skittish under acceleration or speed, while the big V8 makes a cultured and purposeful road under full-load and is barely audible the rest of the time. Simply put, it's a superb union of excellent engine and outstanding machine.
Available in top spec HSE guise only, the Range Rover TDV8 is simply one of the most luxurious and upscale vehicles on the road today. The high-quality materials and the thoughtful, sports-watch styling of the dashboard make it feel very special inside, while the lofty driving position and sumptuously comfortable seats make it a delightful place to be, even if you're stuck in traffic, inching along.
Although it's not cheap at around a hundred grand, the Range Rover Sport TDV8 isn't the bank-siphoning money-pit the V8 petrol model is, returning a realistic average economy figure of around 11 litres/100km. That means that while it might cost you around €100 to fill it you could get up to 500 km between fills, which isn't bad for a 2.7 tonne beast.
As much as we liked the Range Rover Sport before, when fitted with the new turbo-diesel V8 our feelings start to border on down-on-one-knee adoration. The Sport was always a beautiful and decadent machine with an astonishing range of abilities from serious bog trotting to continent-crossing cruising but with the new TDV8 it’s now got the perfect mix of refined power and common sense as well.
Engine: 3.6-litre V8 turbo diesel, 272 hp, 640 Nm
Transmission: 6-speed automatic
Acceleration: 0–100 km/h: 9.2 seconds
Top speed: 209 km/h
Economy: 11.1 L/100 km
CO2: 294 g/km
Boot Capacity: 958 litres
Weight: 2675 kg
Base Price: €99,980
Price as tested: €102,960
Verdict: Powerful, refined, beautiful, sumbtuous, elegant, sublime. Our favourite of all the luxury cars on sale today.